19. December 2012 08:15
The ink wasn't even dry on my last blog when The IWLU clerks settled their labor dispute with the ocean carriers serving Los Angeles and Long Beach. While this was a pleasant Christmas surprise, we still face the possibility of an IWLU work stoppage at the East and Gulf Coast ports shortly after the first of the year. In fact as we look ahead at 2013, there are a number of supply chain issues that will bear watching. The truck driver shortage will continue, and may get worse as the economy improves. We also should see a decision by the court on the hours-of-service controversy. Fuel costs are almost a non-event since we have been concerned about them for so long; and the infrastructure is still a mess with no clear solution in sight. But in spite of all this, supply chain managers have proven to be very resilient, particularly during the depressed economy, and no doubt will continue to be so.
Some believe there is an elephant in the room, however. December 21 is the end of a major cycle in the 5,125-year Mayan Long Count calendar, known as the 13th Baktun. Although the Mayas never predicted this would be the end of the world, some people apparently are convinced it will be.
I, for one, have decided to take a chance and did my Christmas shopping, and even bought a Christmas tree. So, in that spirit of optimism about the supply chain and our personal existence, I extend my very best holiday wishes to the readers, your families, and associates.
Of course, if I am wrong, it won't make any difference, will it?